News

UPDATE – Letter of thanks and support received from the Minister of Care Helen Whatley

Further to our continued dialogue with the Minister of Care, we are pleased to have received a letter of support from the Minister which we have shared directly with our named contacts across our membership for them to pass on to all their teams who are providing invaluable support to thousands of older people living in retirement housing. We continue to have regular virtual meetings with the Minister and her team and will provide updates regularly on the website and

UPDATE – Joint Letter to the Government from ARHM Retirement Housing Group (RHG) and Home Builders Federation (HBF)

Together with RHG and HBF,  we wrote a couple of weeks ago to Matt Hancock  at the Department for Health and Social Care raising our concerns that retirement housing had been omitted from arrangements to support care providers and residents in extra care housing and care homes.  You will be pleased to know that on Friday 24th a broad coalition of representatives from the sector, including ARCO and Housing LIN had a very useful meeting with Helen Whately the Minister

Joint Letter to the Government from ARHM Retirement Housing Group (RHG) and Home Builders Federation (HBF)

ARHM has teamed with RHG and HBF to write to Ministers seeking clarification on a number of important concerns raised by members about coronavirus and residents in Extra Care and Sheltered Housing schemes and offering the support of the sector at this difficult time.

Concerns include:

  • support for self isolating  and vulnerable residents,
  • access to protective clothing,
  • testing for Covid19
  • how to respond when residents contract Covid19
  • clarification on key worker status for managers and support staff who are not

Coronavirus Covid-19 Information for Members

Below are some articles which you may find useful on how COVID-19 will affect business:

UNIFIED CODE OF PRACTICE?

ARHM is involved in discussions about the possibility of a unified Code of Practice. This idea was also raised as part of the discussions that took place under Lord Best’s Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) considerations. RICS, Property Ombudsman, ARMA, IRPM are also involved. There is no concrete information as yet as to the current Government’s appetite for the Leasehold Reform agenda and the feeling is that if regulation does come, as is the thought, then it would seem sensible

GOVERNMENT CONSULTATIONS

There is currently a consultation on ‘First Homes’, a potential new discount market sale product aimed at first time buyers but the consultation considers the potential for including people ‘currently stuck in unsuitable housing and cannot move because the next step is unaffordable’. It goes on to say that ‘we are keen to explore circumstances in which the prioritisation for first-time buyers should be waived, which could include age-specific housing for older people, and we welcome further

WELSH GOVERNMENT NEWS

In 2019, our former Chair of ARHM, Richard Wheeldon, was invited to work with the Welsh Government on an initiative looking at Leasehold Reform in Wales. This included heading up the group who were tasked with looking at Codes of Practice. The final recommendations were presented to the Welsh Housing Minister Julie James in June 2019 as we have previously reported in earlier briefings. We were pleased to learn that one of the important recommendations of the Code of Practice

LATEST FIRE SAFETY NEWS

The Secretary of State HCLG,  Robert Jenrick, delivered an announcement  in late January on Building Safety. This supercedes previous advice and consolidates previous advice notes into a consolidated one in the attached link

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/building-safety-programme#building-safety-advice-for-building-owners-including-fire-doors

We have also recently taken part in discussions with MHCLG Building Safety Programme Team to discuss some of the specific issues arising out of fire safety management in the leasehold retirement sector.